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Material Culture of Death in Medieval Japan,9780824832612

Material Culture of Death in Medieval Japan

by
ISBN13:

9780824832612

ISBN10:
0824832612
Format:
Hardcover
Pub. Date:
7/1/2009
Publisher(s):
Univ of Hawaii Pr
List Price: $39.00

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What version or edition is this?
This is the edition with a publication date of 7/1/2009.
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  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any CDs, lab manuals, study guides, etc.

Summary

This study is the first in the English language to explore the ways medieval Japanese sought to overcome their sense of powerlessness over death. By attending to both religious practice and ritual objects used in funerals in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, it seeks to provide a new understanding of the relationship between the two. Karen Gerhart looks at how these special objects and rituals functioned by analyzing case studies culled from written records, diaries, and illustrated handscrolls, and by examining surviving funerary structures and painted and sculpted images. The work is divided into two parts, beginning with compelling depictions of funerary and memorial rites of several members of the aristocracy and military elite. The second part addresses the material culture of death and analyzes objects meant to sequester the dead from the living: screens, shrouds, coffins, carriages, wooden fences. This is followed by an examination of implements (banners, canopies, censers, musical instruments, offering vessels) used in memorial rituals. The final chapter discusses the various types of and uses for portraits of the deceased, focusing on the manner of their display, the patrons who commissioned them, and the types of rituals performed in front of them. Gerhart delineates the distinction between objects created for a single funeral┐and meant for use in close proximity to the body, such as coffins┐and those, such as banners, intended for use in multiple funerals and other Buddhist services.


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